March 1, 2018
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized a two-day symposium on Future International Cooperation and Human Resource Development in Marine Science and Fisheries from 29-30 January 2018, in close cooperation with The University of the South Pacific, School of Marine Studies (USP-SMS)
The symposium was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the USP establishment as well as the 20th anniversary of the USP School of Marine Studies building establishment in 2018.
The symposium was organized and facilitated by JICA Expert, Mr. Masanami Izumi who is assigned to the USP-SMS as Marine Resources Management Adviser. Presentations and roundtable discussions by Professors from Japanese universities and USP were delivered in the theme of "Further enhancement of a partnership and network between the USP-SMS and universities & research institutions in Japan in marine sciences and fisheries, and its future prospect – international cooperation and partnership in the Pacific and human resource development in higher education and research".
In the opening address by Prof. Derrick Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of USP, he expressed his appreciation towards a longstanding support from Japan, including establishment of SMS building and human resource development by exchange program like Pacific-LEADS, JENESYS Program, etc.
In the keynote speech by Hon. Mr. Semi Koroilavesau, Fiji's Minister for Fisheries, he acknowledged the longstanding relationship between JICA and USP-SMS through dispatching Japanese experts and senior volunteers, and grassroots technical cooperation on Gau Island by Mie University. He also stated the common issues in the Pacific related to fisheries such as marine resource management, illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries, and climate change, and emphasized an importance of collaboration and cooperation among Japan, USP and the Ministry of Fisheries.
Prof. Shunsuke Koshio
During the presentation of Prof. Shunsuke Koshio, Dean, Faculty of Fisheries, Kagoshima University, he introduced ongoing research collaboration with USP regarding sea cucumber resource in the Pacific and indicated the possibility of researcher exchange through the Research Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University. In the roundtable discussions, they exchanged their views on possibility of future technical cooperation and collaboration on prawn aquaculture.
Prof. Takao Yoshimatsu
In the presentation of Prof. Takao Yoshimatsu, Graduate School of Bio-resources, Mie University, he showed his relationship with Fiji through his experience as JICA Expert in USP-SMS in 1999 and JICA Grassroots Technical Cooperation Project in Gau Island. He introduced professional women divers called Ama, and the Satoumi concept/idea which is formed and maintained by prolonged interaction between humans and ecosystems in Mie Prefecture. He called for Fiji's participation in the training course on coastal fishery resources based on the idea of the Satoumi concept.
Prof. Hideo Yamasaki
In the presentation of Prof. Hideo Yamasaki, Dean of the Faculty of Science & Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering and Science, University of the Ryukyus, he introduced a close relationship with USP since the Pacific Islands Academic Summit held in 2001 at University of the Ryukyus, and presented current understandings of coral bleaching phenomena that can be caused by global climate changes. He pointed out similarities in island environment as well as islanders' mindsets between Okinawa and Fiji, and showed his ideas that the regional or traditional philosophies will help us to understand how to cope with environmental issues.
In the conclusions, respective participants acknowledged the will for further strengthening collaboration and cooperation among universities in Japan and Fiji, governments and JICA with sharing their knowledges and for further promoting human resource development in effectively utilizing and using each organization's advantages, to find solutions of issues like marine resource management, environmental pollution, climate change, disaster risk reduction and so on commonly in Japan and the Pacific.
Title:JICA-USP/SMS Symposium on Future International Cooperation and Human Resource Development in Marine Science and Fisheries
Dates:29-30 January 2018
Venues:USP Laucala Campus, Japan-Pacific ICT Centre (Suva)